Passus primus de visione

What this montaigne bymeneth · and þe merke dale
And þe felde ful of folke · I shal ȝow faire schewe
A loueli ladi of lere · in lynnen yclothed
Come down fram a castel · and called me faire
And seide sone slepestow · sestow þis poeple
How bisi þei ben · aboutenBx.1.6: abouten: The variation is between trisyllabic abouten in L, unrevised M, C and alpha, and alle aboute in corrected M, CrWHmG. Both are metrical, the former supported by Ax and Cx. þe mase
Þe moste partie of þis poeple · þat passeth on þis erthe
Haue þei worschip in þis worlde · þei wilneBx.1.8: wilne: G has kepe from Ax. no better
Of other heuene þan here · holde þei no tale
¶ I was aferd of her face · þeiȝ she faire were
And seide mercy Madame · what is þis to mene
[¶]Bx.1.12: : The paraph in WHm is supported by the new line-group in R (the paraph and first word are lost). Þe toure vpBx.1.12: vp: CrF have vpon, WHmG have on. Prepositional vp is not uncommon, but usually altered to vpon by W and later texts: e.g. Bx.9.109. Though it is certainly Bx, it is not here supported by AC mss. þe toft quod she · treuthe is þere-Inne
And wolde þat ȝe wrouȝte · as his worde techeth
For he is fader of feith · fourmedBx.1.14: fourmed: LMCOR, so Bx. Others read and formed (WF), that formede (HmG), and former of (Cr). Cr shares the reading of Cx. A mss. vary between and fourmide and that formed. ȝow alle
Bothe with fel and with face · and ȝaf ȝow fyue wittis
Forto worschip hym þer-with · þe while þatBx.1.16: þe while þat: LMCR, contested by WHm whil þat. Ax and the P family of C have whyle or whyles; the X family has þe whiles. ȝe ben here
And þerfore he hyȝte þe erthe · to help ȝow vchone
Of wollen of lynnen · of lyflode at nede
In mesurable manere · to make ȝow at ese
¶ And comaunded of his curteisye [·] in comune þree þinges
Arne none nedful but þo · and nempne hem I thinke
And rekne hem bi resoun · reherce þowBx.1.22: þow: Supported by LWCR, against ȝe in CrHmOF and in M as an addition. In ll. 13-19 Holychurch addresses her remarks to the world at large; here and in the next lines she directs her attention to Will. Ax supports þow; Cx rewrites. hem after
That one is vesture · from chele þe to saue
And mete atteBx.1.24: atte: "at the" (see Bx.19.110, 487, etc.). Supported by LMCR, though Ax has at, as do CrWHmGOF. mele · for myseise of þi-selue
And drynke whan þow dryest · ac do nouȝt out of resoun
That þow worth þe werse · whan þow worche shuldest
¶ For loth in his lifdayes · for likyng of drynke
Dede bi his douȝtres · þat þe deuel lyked
Delited hym in drynke · as þe deuel wolde
And lecherye hym lauȝt · and lay bi hem boþe
And al he witt it wynBx.1.31: wyn: LG and alpha, with beta2 and MC reading þe wyn. Most A mss. have the former; Cx has the latter. · þat wikked dede
InebriamusBx.1.32: Inebriamus: ROC correct to the subjunctive, "Let us get him drunk". C mss. vary similarly. eum vino · dormiamusque cum eo
Vt seruare possimus de patre nostro semen
Thorw wyn and þorw women · þere was loth acombred
And þere gat in glotonye · gerlis þat were cherlis
For-þi drede delitable drynke · and þow shalt do þe bettere
Mesure is medcyne · þouȝ þow moche ȝerne
It is nauȝt al gode to þe goste · þat þe gutte axeþ
Ne liflode to þi likam · [þat lief is to þi souleBx.1.39-40: LMWHmC dropped the b-verse of l. 39 and the a-verse of l. 40 through eyeskip on likam. M is later corrected. Cr dropped l. 39 altogether; FG dropped l. 40.
Leue not þi likam ·] for a lyer him techeth
That is þe wrecched worlde · wolde þe bitraye
For þe fende and þi flesch · folweth þeBx.1.42: folweth þe: WHmG omit þe, as do Ax and Cx. Bx perhaps picked it up from the previous line. to-gidere
This and þat see[th]Bx.1.43: seeth: The beta reading is supported by Cx (RK.1.39), though alpha has sueth (F sewe). Ax has instead shendith. þi soule · and seith it in þin herte
And for þow sholdest ben ywar · I wisse þe þe beste
¶ MadameBx.1.45: Madame: F's interjection A is in agreement with AC. Probably it is derived from an A text. mercy quod I · me liketh wel ȝowre wordes
Ac þe moneye of þis molde · þat men so faste holdethkepethBx.1.46: holdeth / kepeth: Beta agrees with Ax; alpha's kepeth is in agreement with Cx. See Introduction II.2.
Telle me to whom MadameBx.1.47: Madame: This is secure for Bx, though it is not in either Ax or Cx. Its position in the line is uncertain. It is likely enough, as KD argue (p. 168), that it is caught up from two lines above. As in that line, F's agreement with Ax may reflect contamination, as Schmidt (1995), 365, suggests. · þat tresore appendeth
¶ Go to þe gospel quod she · þat god seide hym-seluen
Tho þe poeple hym apposed · wiþ a peny in þe temple
Whether þei shulde þer-with · worschip þe kyng Sesar
And god axed of hem · of whome spake þe lettre
And þe ymage ilyke [·] þat þere-inne stondeth
CesarisBx.1.53: Cesaris: Of those that have a genitive, LOR have the Vulgate form (Matt 22.21), while M and beta2 (CrWHm) have Cesares. þei seide [·] we sen hym wel vchone
Reddite cesari quod god · þat cesari bifalleth
Et que sunt dei deo · or elles ȝe done ille
For riȝtfulBx.1.56: riȝtful: The adjective seems clearly the Bx reading, but W shares the adverb with Ax and Cx. The latter is superior in sense; possibly an independent correction in W. reson · shulde rewle ȝow alle
And kynde witte be wardeyne · ȝowre welthe to kepe
And tutour of ȝoure tresore · and take it ȝow at nede
For housbonderye & hijBx.1.59: hij: The plural in beta, referring to Reason and Kind Wit, probably represents Bx. Alpha, taking the reference to be to Kind Wit alone, alters to the singular, with fem. in R (perhaps as alpha), masc. in F as in AC. If Bx had read he, it would be difficult to understand that causing confusion. · holden togideres
[¶]Bx.1.60: : The paraph in WHm is supported by a new line-group in alpha. Þanne I frained hir faire · for hym þat hirBx.1.60: hir (2): LMCO and alpha, as in AC. Beta2 and G have me. made
That dongeoun in þe dale [·] þat dredful is of siȝte
What may it be to meneBx.1.62: be to mene: Schmidt (1995), 365, suggests GF's bemene is from AC versions. · ma-dame I ȝow biseche
¶ Þat is þe castel of care · who-so cometh þerinne
May banne þat he borne was · to body or to soule
Þerinne wonieth a wiȝte · þat wronge is yhote
Fader of falshed · and founded it hym-selue
Adam and Eue · he egged to ille
Conseilled caym · to kullen his brother
Iudas he iaped · with iuwenBx.1.69: iuwen: CrG and alpha have Iewes or þe Iewys. There is some variation in AC, but iuwen is probably archetypal in all three versions. siluer
And sithen on an eller [·] honged hym afterBx.1.70: hym after: The variation hym-selue as in WF is also in A. The b-verse is revised in C.
He is letter of loue · and lyeth hem alle
That trusten on his tresor · bitrayeth hebytrayed arenBx.1.72: bitrayeth he/bytrayed aren: The beta reading is essentially that of Cx, he bytrayeth. Alpha's reading bytrayed aren is shared with Ax. G's reading is presumably contaminated from an A source (Schmidt (1995), 365). sonnest
¶ Thanne had I wonder in my witt · what womman itsheBx.1.73: it/she: Beta agrees with Ax; alpha's fem. pronoun is in agreement with Cx. were
Þat such wise wordes · of holywrit shewed
And askedBx.1.75: asked: F alone has halsede, probably by contamination from A; see Schmidt (1995), lxiii. C mss. have halsede or halsnede. The verb does not occur elsewhere in the poem, and it was perhaps obsolescent. hir on þe hieȝe name · ar heoBx.1.75: heo: The form is secure for Bx, with LMR support. þennes ȝeode
What sheBx.1.76: she: R alone has the form he. See also l. 87 and note to l. 77. were witterli · þat wissed me so faire
¶ Holicherche I am quod sheBx.1.77: she: R again has he, as in the previous line. The form is not necessary for the alliteration. · þow ouȝtest me to knowe
I vnderfonge þe firste · and þe feythBx.1.78: þe feyth: The apparent agreement of Hm and F recorded by KD, þe feyþ þe, is not significant, since Hm's reading results from a misdivision of feythe. tauȝte
And brouȝtestBx.1.79: brouȝtest: Bx idiomatically lacks the subject pronoun, added in CrHmGOF, bringing them into line with AC versions. me borwes · my biddyng to fulfille
And to loue me lellyBx.1.80: me lelly: Reversed in alpha. Beta is supported by Ax. Cx rewrites. · þe while þi lyf dureth
Bx.1.81: : The paraph is in beta and F. The line is at the bottom of the page in R. Thanne I courbed on my knees · and cryed hir of grace
And preyed hir pitousely · [to]Bx.1.82: to: Omitted by beta. Alpha is supported by Ax and Cx, though the addition of to before an infinitive is a common scribalism. prey for my synnes
And also ken[n]eBx.1.83: kenne: L has kende, with the line marked for correction. me kyndeli · on criste to bileue
Bx.1.84: The line is attested by beta and Ax, but omitted in alpha and Cx. That I miȝte worchen his wille · þat wrouȝte me to man
Teche me to no tresore · but telle me þis ilke
How I may saue my soule · þat seynt art yholden
¶ Whan alle tresores aren tried quod she · trewthe is þe best
I do it on deus caritas · to deme þe soþe
ItBx.1.89: It: Alpha's Þat it has no support from AC. is as derworth a drewery · as dere god hym-seluen
¶ Who-soBx.1.90: Who-so: The beta reading, but alpha has He (R) or He þat (F). Ax supports beta; in C the P family begins For who, the X family has For he. is trewe of his tonge · & telleth none other
And doth þe werkis þer-with · and wilneth no man ille
He is a god bi þe gospel · agrounde and aloft
And ylike to owre lorde · bi seynte lukes wordes
Þe clerkes þat knoweþ þis · shulde kenne it aboute
For cristene and vncristne · clameþ it vchone
¶ Kynges & kniȝtes · shulde kepe it bi resoun
Riden and rappe downBx.1.97: down: This varies in all three versions with adoun, though Ax has the former and Cx the latter. · in reumes aboute
And taken tran[s]gressores · and tyen hem faste
Til treuthe had ytermyned · her trespas to þe ende
And þat is þe professioun appertly · þat appendeth forBx.1.100: for: So LCR, which is good evidence for Bx. But AC have the obvious to, as in all other mss. knyȝtes
And nouȝt to fasten a fryday · in fyue score wynter
But holden wiþ him & with hir · þat woldenBx.1.102: wolden: G's alliterating asketh is from Ax. Cx rewrites. al treuthe
AndBx.1.103: And: The beta reading is supported by AC against alpha's Ne. neuer leue hem for loue · ne for lacchyng of syluer
¶ For dauid in his dayes · dubbed kniȝtes
And did hem swere on here swerde · to serue trewthe euere
And who-so passed þat poynte · was apostata in þe ordre
¶ But criste kingene kynge · kniȝted ten
Cherubyn and seraphin · suche seuene and an othreBx.1.108: an othre: The reference is to the ten orders of angels at Creation; see the comprehensive note in Skeat (1886), ii. 24-5. Beta2 and R (perhaps additionally confused by preceding and) miss the point and drop an, but AC support an othre.
And ȝaf hem myȝte in his maieste · þe murger hem þouȝte
And ouer his mene meyne · made hem archangeles
Tauȝte hem bi þe Trinitee · treuthe to knowe
ToBx.1.112: To: Beta has the support of Ax against alpha's And. Nevertheless, the latter may be the better reading: "God taught them to know truth and be obedient". be buxome at his biddyng · he bad hem nouȝte elles
Bx.1.113: : The paraph is in beta and F. The line is at the bottom of the page in R. Lucifer wiþ legiounes · lerned it in heuene
[Til]Bx.1.114: Til: Alpha is supported by Ax against beta's But for. Bx lost the preceding line, "And was þe louelokest of siȝt aftir oure lord" (K.1.110), leaving the argument that Lucifer learned obedience until he lost it. Beta rewrote to avoid nonsense. See Donaldson (1955), 208-09. he brake buxumnesse · his blisse gan he tyne
And fel fro þat felawship · in a fendes liknes
In-to a depe derke helle · to dwelle þere for eure
And mo þowsandes wiþBx.1.117: wiþ: As at Bx.P.147, W alters to myd to create the standard alliterative pattern, on the model of Bx.4.79. The line is not in AC. See also Bx.17.243. him · þan man couthe noumbre
Lopen out wiþ Lucifer · in lothelich forme
For þei leueden vpon hym · þat lyed in þis manere
Ponam pedem in aquilone · et similis ero altissimoBx.1.120: et ... altissimo: R omits, and F loses the line. Beta is supported by Cx. ·
¶ And alle þat hoped it miȝte be so · none heuene miȝte hem holde
But fellen out in fendes liknesse · nyne dayes togideres
Til god of his goodnesse · gan stable and stynte
And garte þe heuene to stekye · and stonden in quiete
¶ Whan thise wikked went out · wonderwiseBx.1.125: wonderwise: Beta2 has in wonderwise, as does the P family of Cx in a revised line. þei fellen
Somme in eyre somme in ertheBx.1.126: eyre ... erthe: The versions vary, with Ax having the order of most beta mss., and Cx the order as in MO and alpha. The beta order is more logical. · & somme in helle depe
Ac lucifer lowest [·] lith of hem alle
For pryde þat he pult outBx.1.128: pult out: The West Midlands form pult appears only in LCr, while R has the spelling pelt. Ax has put out as do the remaining B mss; Cx has pokede. MED pilten v., 3(b) glosses the phrase pult out as "exhibit (pride), display", though records no other instance of this sense. In Bx.8.97 LR again read pulte/pelte against pull or putte in other B witnesses. See also note to Bx.15.66. · his peyne hath none ende
And alle þat worche with wronge · wenden hijBx.1.129: hij: Only LC, though M's þei is a correction. See Introduction IV.1. shulleBx.1.129: Alpha has a new line-group here.
After her deth-day · andBx.1.130: and: Supported by AC against alpha's to. dwelle wiþ þat shrewe
Bx.1.131: W and alpha have a paraph here.Ac þo þat worche wel · as holiwritt telleth
And enden as I ere seide · in treuthe þat is þe best
Mowe be siker þat her souleBx.1.133: soule: Beta2 and G have the plural, and M is altered to that reading. Ax supports the distributive sg. · shal wende to heuene
Þer treuthe is in Trinitee · and tronethBx.1.134: troneth: Alpha has non-alliterating saue. Beta's b-verse reproduces Ax; Cx rewrites. hem alle
Bx.1.135: Alpha has a new line-group here.For-þi I sey as I seide ere · bi siȝte ofBx.1.135: siȝte of: Alpha's b-verse is defective; beta is supported by Ax. The line is repeated at Bx.1.210. þise textis
Whan alle tresores arneBx.1.136: arne: Beta's form is supported by most A mss. Cx revises. ytried · treuthe is þe beste
Lereth it þisBx.1.137: it þis: So LWCO. M is corrected to it ye; CrHm read on thys; GF have thys ye, and R this. The variation reflects a Bx error, since AC read it þus. lewde men · for lettred men it knowen
Þat treuthe is tresore · þe triest on erþe
Ȝet haue II haueBx.1.139: Ȝet haue I/I haue: The beta reading is that of Ax, whereas alpha (and Cr) is Cx. no kynde knowing quod I · ȝet mote ȝe kenne meBx.1.139: ȝet mote ȝe kenne me: Presumably R represents alpha, and F repairs the alliteration. For some reason A mss. have much trouble with this b-verse, and C mss. only slightly less, though there the X group has the beta reading we take to be Bx, while the P group has ȝe mot kenne me, as does W here. better
By what craft in my corps · it comseth and where
Bx.1.141: This is the last line of the Lansdowne fragment of R; the Rawlinson ms. begins with Bx.2.42. On editorial policy where R is lacking, see note to Bx.P.2. ¶ Þow doted daffe quod she · dulle arne þi wittes
To litel latyn þow lernedest · lede in þi ȝouthe
Heu michi qu[od]Bx.1.143: quod: The quotation is repeated in this form at Bx.5.452. In both cases alpha's quod for beta's quia is also the wording in Cx. See Alford (1992), 35-6. sterilem duxi vitam iuuenilem
¶ It is a kynde knowyng quod heBx.1.144: he: "she". · þat kenneth in þine herte
For to louye þi lorde · leuer þan þi-selue
No dedly synne to do · dey þouȝ þow sholdest
This I trowe be treuthe · who can teche þe better
¶ Loke þow suffre hym to sey · and sithen lere it after
For thus witnesseth his worde · worcheth þow þere-afterBx.1.149: The line is lost by beta2 (CrWHm) and G. It is in Ax but not Cx.
For trewthe telleþ þat loue · is triacle of heuene
May no synne be on him sene · þat [þat spise vseth]Bx.1.151: þat þat spise vseth: F's inverted order is metrical, and perhaps authorial, with K.7.137 þat no werk vsiþ (alliterating on /n/) providing a parallel. Even so, it may be a scribal sophistication, and this is one of the occasions where R is sorely missed. The line is not in AC.
And alle his werkes he wrouȝte · with loue as him liste
And lered it Moises for þe leuest þing [·] and moste like to heuene
And also þe plenteBx.1.154: plente: "fullness"; and cf. the proverb "peace maketh plenty" which may have influenced the Bx scribe. Cr's plant may have been taken from his C ms.; it is probably also Ax. See Adams (1991), 7-15. of pees · moste precious of vertues
¶ For heuene myȝte nouȝte holden it · it was so heuy of hym-self
Tyl it hadde of þe erthe · yetenBx.1.156: yeten: "eaten". See Schmidt (1995), 366. Cr's yoten it-selue (MED yeten v.3, "poured out") is the reading of Cx. his fylle
¶ And whan it haued of þis folde [·] flessh & blode taken
Was neuere leef vpon lynde · liȝter þer-after
And portatyf and persant · as þe poynt of a nedle
That myȝte non armure it lette · ne none heiȝ walles
¶ For-þi is loue leder [·] of þe lordes folke of heuene
And a mene as þe Maire is · bitwene þe kyng and þe comune
Riȝt so is loue a ledere · and þe lawe shapeth
Vpon man for his mysdedes · þe merciment he taxeth
And for to knowe it kyndely · it comseth bi myght
And in þe herte þere is þe heuede · and þe heiȝ welle
¶ For in kynde knowynge in herte · þere a myȝte bigynneth
And þat falleth to þe fader · þat formed vs alle
Loked on vs with loue · and lete his sone deye
Mekely for owre mysdedes · to amende vs alle
And ȝet wolde he hem no woo · þat wrouȝte hym þat peyne
But mekelich with mouthe · mercy he bisouȝte
To haue pite o[n]Bx.1.173: on: MCrHmGO as well as F (= alpha?) are supported by AC versions against of in LWC. Yet the latter might be Bx; cf. l. 177 for a similar case, and note that MCrHmGOF have pity on for pity of in Bx.5.260. þat poeple · þat peynedBx.1.173: peyned: A mss. have predominantly pinede (MED pinen), as do MHmF, whereas C mss. have paynede (MED peinen), but the verbs were often confused. hym to deth
¶ Here myȝtow see ensamplesBx.1.174: ensamples: The singular of WCGF varies with the plural in all three versions. For the argument that the plural is "more exact", see Schmidt (2008), 316. · in hym-selue one
That he was miȝtful & meke · and mercy gan graunte
To hem þat hongen him an heiȝ · and his herte þirled
¶ For-thi I rede ȝow riche · haueth reuthe ofBx.1.177: reuthe of: The beta reading, as in LMWCO. HmCrG have the more usual ruthe on (as in Bx.4.110, 112, 5.523, 14.180, 15.11), agreeing here with AC, by coincidence or contamination. F has mercy on. þe pouere
Thouȝ ȝe be myȝtful to mote · beth meke in ȝowre werkes
¶ For þe same mesur[e]Bx.1.179: mesure: LMWCGO (hence beta) have the plural, but CrHmF have sg., as AC. The plural is presumably a beta error, since the word is sg. in the Latin, l. 181. þat ȝe mete · amys other elles
Ȝe shullen ben weyen þer-wyth · whan ȝe wende hennes
Eadem mensura qua mensi fueritis · remecietur vobis ·
¶ For þouȝ ȝe be trewe of ȝowre tonge · and trewliche wynne
And as chaste as a childe · þat in cherche wepeth
But ifBx.1.184: if: Dropped by MF, but supported by Cx. A mss. vary. ȝe louen lelliche · and lene þe poure
[Of] suchBx.1.185: Of such: Of is easily lost, as in beta. F is supported by AC. goed as god ȝow sent [·] godelich parteth
Ȝe neBx.1.186: ne (1): Dropped by MCrGF, but supported by AC. haue na more meryte · in masse ne in houres
Þan Malkyn of hire maydenhode · þat no man desireth
¶ For Iames þe gentil · iugged in his bokes
That faith with-oute þe faiteBx.1.189: þe faite: G reads dede, F has fewte, and in M the definite article is inserted by the corrector. The article in this phrase is more easily lost than added, and beta probably had it. Ax is without the article; Cx is divided, though the best representatives of the X family have it. We follow copy-text. · is riȝteBx.1.189: riȝte: F's omission of the word may represent Bx, but the b-verse is corrupt in any case. The AC reading is is feblere þan noȝt. no-þinge worthi
And as ded as a dore-tre · but ȝif þe dedes folwe
Fides sine operibus mortua est &c
¶ For-thi chastite with-oute charite · worth cheyned in helle
It is as lewed as a laumpe · þat no liȝte is Inne
¶ Many chapeleynes arne chaste · ac charite is awey
Aren no men auarousereBx.1.195: no men auarousere: G's non herder is by contamination from AC. F's non for beta's no men may be from A, but may represent Bx. þan hij · whan þei ben auaunced
Vnkynde to her kyn · and to alle cristene
Chewen here charite · and chiden after more
Such chastite wiþ-outen charite · worth cheyned in helle
¶ Many curatoures kepen hem · clene of here bodies
Thei ben acombred wiþ coueitise · þei konne nouȝt out crepenouȝt don it fram hemBx.1.200: nouȝt out crepe: Beta has nouȝt don it fram hem, with G's not cry ovte an independent improvement or indebted to AC, which both have variously not crepe out and not out crepe. This supports F's out crepe (omitting nouȝt by oversight), though it may be by contamination.
So harde hath auarice · yhasped hem togideres
And þat is no treuthe of þe trinite · but treccherye of helle
And lernyng to lewde men · þe latter for to deleBx.1.203: for to dele: The beta reading, though G omits for, aligning it with most A mss. F has to leve synne. C rewrites.
Bx.1.204: : L's paraph is shared only with C, but the line is at the top of the page in M (which marks paraphs only with a blank space). For-þi þis wordes [·] ben wryten in þe gospelBx.1.204: Because of the short line, scribes misplaced the punctus. Only L has it awkwardly after ben. We follow MWCO.
Date & dabitur vobis · for I dele ȝow alle
And þat is þe lokke of loue · andBx.1.206: and (2): Clearly the beta reading, supported by the X family of C. CrGF have þat (M is revised to that reading), as does Ax and the P family of C. Again, F may be alpha or an A reading. lateth oute my grace
To conforte þe careful · acombred wiþ synne
¶ Loue is leche of lyf · and nexte owre lorde selue
And also þe graith gate · þat goth in-to heuene
For-þi I sey as I seide · ere by þeBx.1.210: by þe: G's alliterating by syght of thes is supported by AC, but is derived by contamination and is not Bx. See KD p. 154, Schmidt (1995), 366. Alpha also omits siȝte of in the same b-verse at Bx.1.135. textis
Whan alle tresores ben ytryed · treuthe is þe beste
Now haue I tolde þe what treuthe is · þat no tresore is bettere
I may no lenger lenge þe withBx.1.213: þe with: In omitting the phrase G again shows contamination from A. · nowBx.1.213: now: Supported by Ax though omitted by F and replaced by but in G. Cx is rewritten. loke þe owre lorde